Beach Images

I’ll bet when you think of Malibu you imagine something like this. It’s what I saw on a group ride with the River City Riders to Malibu and Venice Beach.

But it’s not exactly what you think.

It’s a photographic print that hangs on the wall above a bar in Venice. So it’s really a photograph of a print made from a photograph. I’m not going to spice this up with any more verbiage. It speaks for itself.

From the Inland Empire, a ride to the coast is largely a matter of enduring the freeways lacing through Los Angeles County. It’s a way of escaping the warmth of the inland valleys during the summer, since the coast is frequently more than thirty degrees cooler than the desert.

It was 100 miles to our first stop at the Rock Shop, a well-known haunt of Southern California motorcyclists. The shop is tucked away in the canyons between Highway 101 in Westlake Village and the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. It’s a serviceable rest stop with a restaurant, patio, and rock shop. There is shade covering the patio and the front of the shop.

Having deep experience with food on the road in the Inland Empire, Imperial and San Diego Counties, we’ve become somewhat picky. Since it was too early for lunch, we settled for perfectly acceptable $6 and $7 dollar breakfasts. Unfortunately, they cost $11 and $12, and the service was slightly below average. Our waitress seemed to have a short attention span, and never refilled a coffee cup or glass.

Further south on the misty coast we stopped in Venice. The strand in Venice is a long carnival. The midway is awash with humanity and small vendors of wares and services such as sunglasses, t-shirts, hats, tattoos, and other tourist bric-a-brak and knicknackery.

We walked a few blocks of the strand looking for the right place to have a beer, then retraced our steps. Back at our parking spaces on a side street, we found the right place to be Nikki’s, across the sidewalk from our bikes, and in very close proximity to a medical marijuana clinic. The bar was decorated with 50” flat screen TVs and large prints of photos of women hung on Faux brick walls. Somehow the combination worked.

Outside Nikki’s it was quiet on the side street. Across the alley from our motorcycles was a clear illustration of how to park your tricycle in Venice.

Photographs in this post are Copyright 2009 by RRAlexander.